Market is challenging says Irish boss Ray Gammell as Etihad reports $1.87bn loss

  • Key figures:                2016       2015
  • Passenger Revenue   $4.9bn    $4.9bn
  • Total Revenue            $8.36bn    $9bn
  • Net (loss)/profit           $1.873bn   $103m
  • Total passengers         18.5m       17.6m
  • Seat factor                   78.6pc      79.4pc


Etihad Airways’ new Irish Interim Group CEO Ray Gammell  says the airline will continue working to reduce costs and boost revenues as the airline recorded a net loss of US$1.87bn last year.  The company blamed one-off impairment charges and fuel hedging losses weighed against a solid performance of the core airline.

The core airline business achieved steady passenger revenues of $4.9bnn and carried a record 18.5 million passengers. Total impairments of $1.9bn included a $1.06bn charge on aircraft. It said this reflected “lower market values and the early phase out of certain aircraft types”. There was also a $808m charge on certain assets and financial exposures to equity partners, mainly related to Alitalia and airberlin.

Ray Gammell speaking at the Etihad event at the All Ireland hurling final in Croke Park in 2015

The airline, which flies double daily from Dublin to its Abu Dhabi home, said fuel hedging won’t be as much of an issue in 2017.

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“We are focused on maintaining the solid performance of our core airline business – operationally and financially – even amid difficult market headwinds. At the same time, we continue to implement changes across the group as part of the comprehensive strategic review, with a focus on improving revenues and reducing costs,” said Ray Gammell, a former Irish Army officer, from Co Wicklow.

“During 2016, the airline commenced a Right Size & Shape programme that generated total overhead savings of 4pc through headcount reductions and other measures by the end of the year, even as capacity and total passenger number increased. This year is just as challenging for the global aviation industry and the ever-evolving competitive environment is likely to impact overall performance in 2017. However, our airline business remains strong and class-leading, and as an aviation group, we are in a stronger position.”

H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group, said: “A culmination of factors contributed to the disappointing results for 2016. The record passenger numbers in 2016 affirm Etihad’s role as a significant economic enabler for Abu Dhabi, and our airline business continues to support Abu Dhabi’s vision to develop tourism, grow commerce and strengthen links to key regional and international markets.”


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